As we reported last month, efforts by union groups to challenge Michigan’s Right to Work law as it applies to public employees suffered a defeat when the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled against them. This week, the union groups challenged that decision, filing a petition with the Michigan Supreme Court requesting that the Supreme Court review the decision.
The unions’ position is that the Michigan Constitution gives the Michigan Civil Service Commission the exclusive authority to set employment conditions for civil service employees, so the right to work law passed by the legislature (and not the Commission) cannot be applicable to those employees, of which there are more than 35,000. But the Michigan Court of Appeals found that the state legislature has the power to pass labor laws of general applicability which also apply to civil service employees, and the right to work legislation was such a law of generally applicability.
Appeals to the Michigan Supreme Court are discretionary, so there is no guarantee that the Court will agree to hear the case. The Michigan Supreme Court also has a 5-2 Republican majority, so even if it does agree to hear the case, the outcome may not be what the union groups want. Stay tuned as we continue to follow these right to work developments in Michigan and around the nation.
Our previous right to work coverage is here.